CFM PUMPS, not shoes

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Thu Aug 11 19:55:36 UTC 2005

On Aug 11, 2005, at 12:03 PM, Michael McKernan wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Michael McKernan <mckernan at LOCALNET.COM>
> Subject:      Re: CFM PUMPS, not shoes
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Sabrina LeBeouf wrote:
>> Subject:      Re: CFM PUMPS, not shoes
>> I've found this topic very interesting and will now throw in my 2
>> cents...I
>> first heard the expression a few years ago on an episode of Sex in
>> the City
>> when Samantha thinks her guy is cheating on her because she saw him
>> getting
>> into a cab with a woman wearing "come-fuck-me-HEELS."
> Yes, it interests me as well, that so many posts convey a sense of
> lexical
> precision:  shoes-no, pumps-no, heels.
> AFAIK, both pumps and heels are varieties of shoes (heels can also
> refer to
> boots; perhaps some designer has introduced combat boots with stiletto
> heels!).  Definitions I've seen of 'pumps' indicate a low-cut shoe,
> without
> laces, straps, or other closures.  Some 'heels' are pumps, others,
> such as
> platforms with straps (the equivalent of an elegant, elevated sandel, I
> suppose), etc., are not pumps.  All are shoes (or boots, as noted.)
> I'm sure there is far more complexity to the terminology of women's
> shoes
> than this, but I remain (mostly) ignorant of it, as well as the
> non-verbal
> messages conveyed.
> Thinking back to 'Doc Martens' or DMs:  I'm told that at one point,
> punk
> rockers (in the UK, anyway) adopted DMs, especially one red model, as
> the
> footwear of choice, but later abandoned them because of declining
> quality.
> DMs, AFAIK, are actually sold under a different brand name, 'but
> everyone
> knew her as Nancy.'  Originally from Germany, the actual Doc as Doc
> Maertens or something like that.   So there may be a bit more of a
> story-line there.
> Thinking forward to men's shoe lexicon,  aren't there some   -kicker
> shoe
> terms?  And clod-hoppers?  (Rather generic, as I remember them).  I
> seem to
> vaguely remember hearing names for pointed-toe men's dress/fashion
> shoes,
> too?
> Michael McKernan

There are lots of names for styles of men's shoes, but I've never heard
anything equivalent to CFM's. Of course, I'm not hip to today's
equivalent of jive talk. From the olden days, I know of only two words,
both local to St. Louis, that are true slang terms for (brand names of)
ordinary shoes: Floats = Florsheim shoes; States = Stacy-Adams shoes.
The preferred style was box-toe States, but, AFAIK, "box-toe" was a
standard men's-shoe industry term, like "wing-tip." Oops! There's one
more: Chucks = Converse "Chuck Taylor All-Star" athletic shoes.

-Wilson Gray

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